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1 Samuel 15:1-9

Context
Saul Is Rejected as King

15:1 Then Samuel said to Saul, “I was the one the Lord sent to anoint you as king over his people Israel. Now listen to what the Lord says. 1  15:2 Here is what the Lord of hosts says: ‘I carefully observed how the Amalekites opposed 2  Israel along the way when Israel 3  came up from Egypt. 15:3 So go now and strike down the Amalekites. Destroy everything that they have. Don’t spare 4  them. Put them to death – man, woman, child, infant, ox, sheep, camel, and donkey alike.’”

15:4 So Saul assembled 5  the army 6  and mustered them at Telaim. There were 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 men of Judah. 15:5 Saul proceeded to the city 7  of Amalek, where he set an ambush 8  in the wadi. 9  15:6 Saul said to the Kenites, “Go on and leave! Go down from among the Amalekites! Otherwise I will sweep you away 10  with them! After all, you were kind to all the Israelites when they came up from Egypt.” So the Kenites withdrew from among the Amalekites.

15:7 Then Saul struck down the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to 11  Shur, which is next to Egypt. 15:8 He captured King Agag of the Amalekites alive, but he executed all Agag’s people 12  with the sword. 15:9 However, Saul and the army spared Agag, along with the best of the flock, the cattle, the fatlings, 13  and the lambs, as well as everything else that was of value. 14  They were not willing to slaughter them. But they did slaughter everything that was despised 15  and worthless.

1 tn Heb “to the voice of the words of the Lord” (so KJV).

2 tn Heb “what Amalek did to Israel, how he placed against him.”

3 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Israel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

4 tn Or perhaps “don’t take pity on” (cf. CEV).

5 tn Heb “caused the people to hear.”

6 tn Heb “people.”

7 tc The LXX has the plural here, “cities.”

8 tc The translation follows the LXX and Vulgate which assume a reading וַיָּאָרֶב (vayyaarev, “and he set an ambush,” from the root ארב [’rv] with quiescence of alef) rather than the MT, which has וַיָּרֶב (vayyareb, “and he contended,” from the root ריב [ryv]).

9 tn That is, “the dry stream bed.”

10 tc The translation follows the Syriac Peshitta and Vulgate which assume a reading אֶסִפְךָ (’esfÿka, “I sweep you away,” from the root ספה [sfh]) rather than the MT אֹסִפְךָ (’osifÿka, “I am gathering you,” from the root אסף[’sf]).

11 tn Heb “[as] you enter.”

12 tn Heb “all the people.” For clarity “Agag’s” has been supplied in the translation.

13 tn The Hebrew text is difficult here. We should probably read וְהַמַּשְׂמַנִּים (vÿhammasmannim, “the fat ones”) rather than the MT וְהַמִּשְׂנִים (vÿhammisnim, “the second ones”). However, if the MT is retained, the sense may be as the Jewish commentator Kimchi supposed: the second-born young, thought to be better than the firstlings. (For discussion see S. R. Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel, 123-24.)

14 tn Heb “good.”

15 tc The MT has here the very odd form נְמִבְזָה (nÿmivzah), but this is apparently due to a scribal error. The translation follows instead the Niphal participle נִבְזָה (nivzah).



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